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21st June – 27th July 2013

Piers Secunda 'Taliban Bullet Holes'

Piers Secunda ‘Taliban Bullet Holes’

Updown Gallery is delighted to present a major solo exhibition by pioneering artist Piers Secunda, featuring important works made across a period of ten years.

“Making a record of the time in which you are alive is, I believe, the most important thing an artist can do.”  Piers Secunda

Over 17 years, Secunda’s artistic practice has evolved around the use of paint as a sculptural medium, and has resulted in highly complex structures created from paint alone. It is the combination of innovative techniques with powerful symbolism that sets his method apart. Secunda’s work is often steeped in forgotten histories and laced with geo-political references, such as printing with crude oil, ultimately producing work full of rich narratives – while simultaneously pushing paint to its absolute limits.

“I have always been bothered by the physical restraints of the canvas. For me it limits what a painting can be, so I’ve disposed of it and I handle the paint on its own – by default the paint behaves like a sculptural material.” Piers Secunda

The exhibition will cover Secunda’s renowned “Bullet Hole” series – in which his practice incorporates bullet holes shot and cast in some of the world’s most notorious danger zones, including Afghanistan and the no-go neighbourhoods of Kingston, Jamaica – to his most recent assemblages.

Since 2009, when Secunda and his interpreter persuaded soldiers from the Chinese Army (PLA) to shoot some works for him on a firing range near Shanghai, the artist has travelled around the world to gather bullet holes, both cast and shot. The China works started an ongoing series that continues to run, and which in 2010 took him to Kabul, Afghanistan, to mould Taliban bullet holes from suicide bomb attack sites. The resulting works have been described by art book publishers Phaidon as “The most compelling works to have come out of the Taliban conflict.”

The comprehensive showcase provides an insight into an extraordinary and stunning studio practice, which records some of the most important social and political conversations of our time. The works in the retrospective range from simple moulded forms to intricately detailed, hand-held objects with multiple moving parts such as the Chinese Puzzle Balls – the common theme across the exhibition being that all the works are made out of paint.

An alumni of the Chelsea College of Art, Secunda’s work has been show in private and public spaces in a dozen countries, along-side artists such as Frank Stella and Anthony Caro. His work is held in collections internationally.

To view this press release as a PDF, please click here: UDGPR_PiersSecunda_ARetrospective

To view an interview with Piers in issue 12 of State magazine, click here: STATE-SECUNDA


A Decade of Rejected Works, Re-configured as a One Metre Cube, 2010-2012
Industrial floor paint, household paint, spray paint and photocopier ink
100 x 100 x 100 cm

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